"Every piece takes over and begins to have its own spirit. They grow before you and when you finish, each piece has its own personality. Often time, when I get to see my work again, it is like visiting a close friend."
Demos Glass is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and raised in rural Locust Grove, Oklahoma. Demos admits to finding creative ways to entertain himself. "I was always making something, whether it was a fingerless sock batting glove or a clay turtle." His experimentation through different materials has led him to the use of mixed media in his sculptural works.
Demos graduated from Locust Grove High School and then attended Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Illinois on a wrestling scholarship, enrolled in the Fine Arts Program. "It wasn't hard for me to find my place once I saw what was happening at the art department and couldn't stay away." At the North East Oklahoma Training Center, welding was his choice of study.
Realizing his early influences in southeast woodland design, Demos began to approach his contemporary art style with this in mind. Another influence he sites is the work of Chippewa artist, George Morrison, who was one of the first American Indian artists to break into the New York art scene. Demos like the way Morrison worked the different wood pieces, puzzling them together to create wood collage landscapes. The basis of Demos' sculptural creations begins in metal; either carbon steel, stainless, pewter, or silver. Mixed with his metal materials are mussel shells, various woods and stones.
Demos believes each material presents different challenges and when properly combined, the outcome can be something that is very unique. "I feel that being creative is sometimes in your subconscious and as you get into the process, the piece points out things that you didn't realize about yourself."
Barely into his 3rd decade of life, Demos is an accomplished artist receiving recognition for his work in many notable exhibitions;
In1998 he was awarded 1st place, Metals, in the show, Art Under the Oaks, Muscogee, Oklahoma. In 1999 at the Red Earth Art Show, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, he earned a 1st place, Sculpture, and in 2006 was awarded Best of Division, Sculpture. At the 2001, 30th Annual Trail of Tears Art Show, Cherokee Nation Heritage Center, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, Demos received a Special Merit Award, Miniatures and in 2006 took the 1st place award for Sculpture. Also in 2001 at the Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market, Indianapolis, Indiana, Demos received two awards; 1st place in Mixed Media Sculpture and 2nd place in the Metals category. At the Cherokee Heritage Center, Tahlequah, Oklahoma at the October 2002 7th Annual Cherokee Homecoming Art Show Demos earned 1st place in Metal-Smithing and in August 2006 won Best of Show at the 1st Annual Cherokee National Holiday Art Show. Last year, 2007 Demos again placed 1st in the Sculpture category in the Five Civilized Tribes Museum competition. Demos' sculpture, Fish Dreams, is in the collection of the Five Civilized Tribes Museum, Muscogee, Oklahoma.
Special exhibits include:
2003 Metal works: Containers of Form, Function and Beauty, Heard Museum North, Scottsdale, Arizona.
2005 Changing Hands; Part 2, Museum of Arts & Design, New York, New York.
Public Art Commissions:
2005, "Passages", a commission by the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee that included an 8' x 12' water spider and seven 6' stainless steel discs designed by a team of Cherokee artists.
2007, Bank of Oklahoma Events Arena, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Glass Studio commissioned to create a circular Terrazzo floor design to be installed into the BOK Center; architect Cesar Pelli.
This special exhibition at the Southern Plains Indian Museum is Demos' first solo exhibition and one of three special exhibitions featuring second generation artists. Works for sale may be purchased through the Oklahoma Indian Arts and Crafts Cooperative, located in the SPIM. After the Exhibit, Demos may be contacted through Glass Studio, (918) 479-2124